CHICAGO — In a season where it can be difficult to find something positive to say about the Chicago Cubs, there is one player that stands out… that player is Tony Campana. Campana grew up in Springboro, Ohio, just north of Cincinnati. The ride to the big leagues wasn’t easy, but that never stopped his passion for life and passion for the game.
The 25 year-old always heard he was small, perhaps too small to play in the big leagues. He was also diagnosed with hodgkins lymphoma at the age of seven, which led to six months of chemo. But, hard work and determination allowed him to be drafted out of the University of Cincinnati in 2008 in the 13th round.
Coming into the 2011 season, Campana was not invited to Spring-Training. There was question as to whether or not he would have the opportunity to be a September call-up. As we know, things in baseball can change quickly. An injury riddled year for the Cubs meant Campana was going to get the call. That call came on Tuesday, May 17th. Oddly enough, his first game in the big leagues was at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, during a series between the Reds and the Cubs. Not only was it a dream come true, but it had to be special to play so close to where he grew up, with family and friends in attendance to share the moment.
Since his arrival to the big leagues, something has really jumped out at me. This guy hustles and he hustles all the time! He might hit a grounder to second, but you can be sure he will make the play close at first. To me, this is so refreshing to see in baseball. Living as close as I do to Chicago, I get to see a lot of games on television. How many players hit a grounder to second and just jog to first because they don’t think they have a chance? I see some of Campana’s teammates do it all the time, ones that make quite a bit of money to play the game they supposedly love. I think it’s time some of Campana’s teammates start paying more attention to him and follow his lead.
Most people believe that Campana will probably not have a Hall-of-Fame career. The fact of the matter though is that most don’t have that type of career. The one thing I am sure of is every time he is in the lineup, he will give it everything he has and play his heart out. You won’t see him jog, you won’t see him lolly-gag his way to a fly-ball, and you won’t see him ever give-up! There are many players in Major League Baseball and I wish each and every one of them had his heart and passion. For all that Tony Campana has accomplished in life, for all his passion for the game, and for never giving up, The Good in Sports is proud to award Mr. Campana with a Gold Star.
Copyright © 2011 The Good in Sports, Inc. All rights reserved.